Nigerian Marítime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), on Tuesday, said no piracy incident was recorded on Nigerian waters in the last two years.
Speaking when the flag officer commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan, paid a courtesy visit to the agency, the director general of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, disclosed that countries are now adopting the deep blue model in combating piracy.
According to the NIMASA boss, there have been changes in narratives about security in Nigerian waters from the era of over 26 Piracy incidents and negative media exposure, to no single piracy incident in Nigerian waters for almost two years.
He, however, attributed the success to a direct product of effective collaboration of the Maritime Administration with the Nigerian Navy, a relationship he hopes to deepen.
“Collaboration with the Nigerian Navy is largely responsible for the confidence of stakeholders in the current Management of the Agency. I was in Brazil last week. The South Americans and even our neighbours like Ghana are eager to learn how we arrived at this MARAD-NAVY collaboration yielding successes.
“Just imagine that the negative media exposure in 2019-2020 about prevalent piracy and criminal activities in Nigerian waters had continued, you can only imagine where Nigeria would have been by now. I am glad we sought and got collaboration with the Navy,” he stressed.
The NIMASA Helmsman noted that the NIMASA is eager to ensure policy to ensure Nigerians enjoy benefits accruable from the Blue Economy.
To him, “The time has come for us to implement our Crude to Blue campaign in 2021. Maritime stakeholders in Nigeria should be ready to repay President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCRF for creating the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry. If we must make headway in Tourism and fishing, security is a priority. We will make a case for the designation of Marine Protected Areas particularly for fishing and the Nigerian Navy definitely will play a major role.”
Responding, the FOC West, noted the need to sustain information sharing between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy.
He commended NIMASA Management for the non-kinetic support to the Western Naval Command.
He also requested NIMASA to support ‘Operation Water Guard’ to combat smuggling around the Badagry channel.
The FOC West, who had the Commander Deep Blue Commodore OA Akinbami on his entourage, noted that the Deep Blue assets are fully functional and requested for further deepening of information sharing between the Western Naval Command and the NIMASA C4i centre.